• Punishment for visiting a sex worker

I have asked many people about what happens when a customer gets caught in a prostitution raid but I never got any clear answers. I would like to know what punishment is a man liable to for visiting a prostitute? Can the customer be punished with an IPC crime?
Asked 1 year ago in Criminal Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
Religion: Muslim
As per section 5 of the Immoral Traffic Act, 1956 any person ( customer) who takes the service of a prostitute even the consent of the sex worker is liable for punishment for the period of 3-7 years.
I hope your query is now resolved.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
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Hello,
1) There isn't any specific offence as envisaged in Indian penal code. However PITA has provisions under which a customer caught in prostitution is liable to prosecution .

2)  A client is guilty of consorting with prostitutes and can  be charged if he engages in sex acts with a sex worker within 200 yards of a public place or "notified area"-Imprisonment of up to 3 months. The client may also be punished if the sex worker is below 18  years of age. (From 7 to 10 years of imprisonment, whether with a child  or a minor)

3) As the sex worker is being charged with indecency, public nuisance etc the customer can also be charged under the same provisions as he too is part of the act.
S J Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
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The Person who use a sex worker for sex  within the permitted area of 200 yards of teh distance of any public place can be prosecuted under PITA (prevention of immoral trafficking Act 1956,and as well as Under IPc different sections according to the situation which he has been caught by the police.
The prostitution is not legalized in India. the Indian law does not refer to the practice of selling one's own  sexual service as "prostitution". Clients can be punished for sexual activity in proximity to a public place. 
The  prostitution  in through brothels, prostitution rings, pimping, etc.are all  illegal. 
under sec.5c of PITA . Any person who visits or is found in a brothel for the purpose of sexual exploitation of any victim of  trafficking in persons shall on first conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to twenty thousand rupees or with both and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months
and shall also be liable to   fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.

If a prostitute solicit her client  individually and voluntarily, a woman in a private place is not an illegal act as the law defines it otherwise

A man can be also prosecuted under 377 Ipc. if he has sex with female prostitute or any other male

under PITA , a man who is accused of  having sex with prostitutes  can  be charged if he engages in sex acts with a sex worker within 200 yards of a public place or "notified area".
 The Punishment is Imprisonment of up to 3 months, 
The man involved is  punished if the sex worker is below 18  years of age, with  7 to 10 years of imprisonment,
Thresiamma G. Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
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Prostitution is illegal in India; the Indian law does not refer to the practice of selling one's own sexual service as prostitution. Mainly Organized prostitution (brothels, prostitution rings, pimping, etc.) is illegal. Prostitution laws prohibit anyone from providing or offering to provide sexual conduct in exchange for money or any other form of compensation. They also punish those who offer sex for money or who purchase any sexual service. If a person is caught at his home, in a hotel or in a vehicle with a sex worker he would still be liable for punishment. Getting caught the second time would mean a jail term of one to five years and also a fine between Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000. 

The primary law dealing with the status of sex workers is the 1956 law referred to as The Immoral Traffic (Suppression) Act (SITA).  According to this law, prostitutes can practise their trade privately but cannot legally solicit customers in public. 

Laws related to prostitution in India: 
Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girl Act -1956 
Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act-1956 
Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act-1956

The punishment or penalty for this offence is 2 to 7 years
Ajay N S
Advocate, Ernakulam
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 Any person who visits or is found in a brothel for the purpose of sexual exploitation of any victim of trafficking in persons shall on first conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to twenty thousand rupees or with both and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
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The 'customer' is liable to be prosecuted and punished for immoral trafficking along with other provisions of Indian Penal Code. The maximum sentence is 7 years if found guilty.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
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449 Consultations
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